Let’s continue with our look at the characters in the first wave of releases!
Autobot Jazz // Special Ops
Jazz had a fairly prominent role in the first two seasons of the original cartoon. He was typically shown as being fairly high up in the Autobot command hierarchy. In addition, much like Hound, he was one of the relatively few Autobots who genuinely enjoyed being stranded on Earth. In this case, Jazz became obsessed with Earth culture, especially music, which was something he would share with Blaster once he made his appearance in Season 2.
In-Game: Jazz’s official role in his tech specs and profiles is as a Special Ops agent. It would make sense for Jazz to be able to hit hard and somehow have a way to escape danger.
Autobot Mirage // Lone Wolf
Unlike Jazz and Hound, Mirage strongly disliked being on Earth and was homesick for Cybertron. His tech specs indicated that he came from a privileged background and was often looked upon as being an elitist by his fellow Autobots. Mirage’s defining characteristic is probably his ability to become invisible, which was instrumental during several episodes of the G1 cartoon.
In-Game: Thanks to Josh Bass from the Facebook group, we actually have the Mirage card spoiled. This interpretation of Mirage has the ability to untap himself or to play a free action battle card, depending on his mode. Fluff-wise, this could either be explained as getting to do additional actions because he’s invisible or because he’s a bit of a badass, as seen in this clip from the opening episode of the original cartoon.
Dinobot Sludge // Mighty Stomper
The Dinobots were all fairly dim-witted, but Sludge especially so. Despite that, he was extremely good-natured. Unfortunately, he was also clumsy. He’s perhaps best known for having one of the few cartoon-y moments from the 1986 movie, which was otherwise fairly violent and dark.
In-Game: Sludge’s dinosaur mode has been shown on the official webpage for the game. He seems to be built to soak damage away from other Dinobot characters.
Dinobot Snarl // Desert Warrior
Snarl is probably the most enigmatic of the Dinobots. The rest of their personalities are easy to sum up based on their cartoon appearances (Grimock: arrogant, Slag: hostile, Sludge: stupid, Swoop: friendly), but Snarl didn’t get a ton of attention. He also received the least screen time in the 1986 movie, only appearing in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpses. His tech specs indicate that he’s a bit of a loner, although he wishes he could connect with others.
In-Game: One of the few defining characteristics of Snarl is that his armored plates in dinosaur mode allow him to soak up energy and power himself up. As far as game mechanics, this could translate into him becoming stronger as he takes damage.
Inferno // Fearless Firefighter
Inferno was one of the batch of Autobots introduced in the second season of the original cartoon. A few of them (like Hoist and Tracks) got their own dedicated episodes, but Inferno never really featured prominently. His biggest role was in an episode dedicated to his friend Red Alert, where he was a calming presence in contrast to Red Alert’s paranoia. Amusingly enough, this runs counter to the persona described in his tech specs, where he’s a hotheaded thrill-seeker. The comics were a little bit more accurate in that regard.
After that moment, he was crushed by a falling building. The G2 comic was pretty grimdark.
In-Game: I could see Inferno being a fairly generic character, probably meant to be able to take and give out a lot of damage, but being easy to hit.
Jetfire // Air Guardian
Known as “Skyfire” in the cartoon, Jetfire featured pretty prominently in the first season of the cartoon because he was the only Autobot with an aerial alternate mode. He often served as a transport when a group of Autobots had to be delivered to a certain area. Oddly enough, Jetfire had a close friendship with Starscream, back when they were both scientists before the war. After being found and revived by the Decepticons, Jetfire briefly joined them before discovering their ideology and how much his friend had changed. Jetfire has also had a pretty prominent role in the current “Optimus Prime” comic book series by IDW, which also explores the concept of his scientific background and shifting loyalty.
In-Game: Jetfire’s plane mode has been revealed on the official webpage. He seems to be geared toward attacking and has 15 health for only 10 stars. He’ll synergize well with Slipstream, who will allow him to shift one of his points of damage to the target he is attacking, both doing more damage and healing himself in the process.
Prowl // Military Strategist
In the original cartoon, Prowl seemed to have been Prime’s second-in-command (although Ironhide or Jazz also seemed to occasionally drift into that role), which makes sense, since he was the Autobot’s chief strategist. He had a particularly memorable moment in one of the first episodes, where his motor systems began to shut down and teenage hacker Chip Chase took control of him remotely, resulting in some badass moves.
He was a foil for Grimlock in the original Marvel comic series, where he was frustrated that Grimlock was chosen as Prime’s successor instead of him. His analytical nature clashed with Grimlock’s impatience and impulsiveness.
He has also been a major part of the IDW comics universe, where he has assumed an almost Nick Fury-esque role. He’s willing to manipulate his comrades and operate in morally gray areas to keep the Autobots functioning as an organization.
In-Game: As a strategist, it would make sense that Prowl would allow some sort of deck knowledge/manipulation.
Wheeljack // Weapons Inventor
Wheeljack was prominent in the first season as a weapons engineer, creating several gadgets that usually worked and didn’t blow up in the user’s face.
He would also serve with Ratchet as the medics who would patch up the other Autobots when they were injured in battle. On top of that, he was also essentially the “father” of the Dinobots and had a soft spot for them, in spite of their destructive tendencies. Plus, his ears would glow when he talked.
If you have any comments or ideas of your own, please comment below!
Next time, we’ll take a look at the Decepticon Uncommon characters. In the meantime, make sure you’re part of the online communities where we’re discussing the game and getting hyped!